The Queensland racing community banded together at the weekend to raise more than $165,000 for injured Toowoomba jockeys Ben Saunders and Wade Clasohm.
More than 320 people attended the Racing Reaches Out fundraiser Clifford Park on Saturday night, with all proceeds raised to be shared between Mr Saunders and Mr Clasohm to aid their recovery.
Both riders suffered spinal injuries after a trackwork fall at Clifford Park on April 10, and are undergoing rehabilitation in Brisbane.
They were represented at the fundraiser by members of their family.
Businesses and people both locally, and from across the country, chipped in with donations for Saturday’s auction.
Racing Queensland (RQ) and UBET made a joint contribution of $5000 to help the riders and their families.
Toowoomba Turf Club chief executive Blair Odgers said it was a successful and enjoyable night.
He told The Toowoomba Chronicle the funds raised had “exceeded all expectations”.
“Racing is a tight-knit community with a highly competitive bunch of people who ultimately live each week competing against each other,” Mr Odgers said.
“So when you have an unfortunate accident like this, the support really comes in.”
Mr Odgers said people could still donate to the pair via gofundme.com pages, and a charity “jockeys’ boxing night” is likely to be held at Toowoomba’s Smithy’s Gym in July.
“If anyone else would like to make a donation we are happy to facilitate them,” Mr Odgers said.
Donate to Mr Clasohm: https://www.gofundme.com/wish-for-wade/
Donate to Mr Saunders: https://www.gofundme.com/help-ben-saunders-recovery